Waterloo is a star performer at new theatre in Liverpool

Waterloo Air Distribution, grille, diffuser
The ventilation strategy of the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool includes equipment from Waterloo Air Products. (Photo: Philip Vile)

Liverpool’s recently opened Everyman Theatre is using advanced air-distribution components designed by Waterloo Air Products as part of a £28 million re-build. With funding from Arts Council England, the European Regional Development Fund and the Northwest Regional Development Agency, the theatre’s owner, Liverpool Merseyside Theatres Trust (LMTT), set about creating a modern sustainable theatre that pushed the boundaries and went far beyond the minimum standards of current legislation.

A low-carbon design and sustainable use throughout the life of the building characterised the design brief. An air-distribution system was an essential part of the design criteria to significantly improve upon the previous ventilation system that was inadequate, particularly during the summer months.

The challenging priority was to minimise running costs, with sustainable design and equipment being the bedrock of the LMTT’s requirements. Natural ventilation was favoured to provide a comfortable environment for patrons and performers. This was achieved by making full use of the building’s fully exposed concrete structure and reclaimed-brickwork walls which provided excellent thermal mass. The entire front facade is designed as a large screen of moveable sunshades.

Air is distributed throughout the complex, which comprises a basement bistro, street cafe and box office on the ground floor. There are three further floors with gallery seating, control room and auditorium. The theatre itself seats 400 people.

Waterloo supplied Airline linear grilles and louvre-faced diffusers, as well as plena and supplied and exhaust valves.

The Airline linear grilles not only satisfied the air-diffusion requirements but also met architectural specifications and aesthetics.

Rick Edmondson, chairman of Waterloo, explains that an improperly applied or selected air-distribution system can have an adverse effect on comfort, air quality, noise and energy conservation.

Although the selection of air diffusers and terminal devices has a lot to do with aesthetics, the theatre was keen to achieve a solution that met its objectives and delivered optimal results.

For more information on this story, click here: Sept 2014, 129
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